Monthly Archives: January 2019

Permitted Development

What can I build without planning permission?

An extension or addition to your house is considered to be permitted development, not requiring an application for planning permission, subject to the following limits and conditions:

  • No more than half the area of land around the “original house”* would be covered by additions or other buildings.
  • No extension forward of the principal elevation or side elevation fronting a highway.
  • No extension to be higher than the highest part of the roof.
  • Single-storey rear extension must not extend beyond the rear wall of the original house* by more than three metres if an attached house or by four metres if a detached house.
  • In addition, outside Article 2(3) designated land* and Sites of Special Scientific Interest the limit is increased to 6m if an attached house and 8m if a detached house until 30 May 2019.
  • These increased limits (between 3m and 6m and between 4m and 8m respectively) are subject to the prior notification of the proposal to the Local Planning Authority and the implementation of a neighbour consultation scheme. If objections are received, the proposal might not be allowed.
  • Maximum height of a single-storey rear extension of four metres.
  • Extensions of more than one storey must not extend beyond the rear wall of the original house* by more than three metres.
  • Maximum eaves height of an extension within two metres of the boundary of three metres.
  • Maximum eaves and ridge height of extension no higher than existing house.
  • Side extensions to be single storey with maximum height of four metres and width no more than half that of the original house.
  • Two-storey extensions no closer than seven metres to rear boundary.
  • Roof pitch of extensions higher than one storey to match existing house.
  • Materials to be similar in appearance to the existing house.
  • No verandas, balconies or raised platforms.
  • Upper-floor, side-facing windows to be obscure-glazed; any opening to be 1.7m above the floor.
  • On designated land* no permitted development for rear extensions of more than one storey.
  • On designated land no cladding of the exterior.
  • On designated land no side extensions.

Cold Weather Maintenance

Its getting colder so we thought we would re share some tips on how to care for your home to prevent costly repairs.

Keep your home warm
Insulating your loft space and wall cavities is essential, around a quarter of your home’s heat is lost through the roof. It’s equally easy to lose warmth through your window frames so close your blinds and curtains in the evenings to trap the heat. Consider new PVCu windows with A+ rated glass if your windows are more than 10 years old. There are now some fantastic modern alternatives to timber sliding sash and old aluminum windows. Windows can be triple glazed for extra energy efficiency and soundproofing
Lining the area behind radiators with a reflective material i.e. aluminum foil this will reflect the heat given off back into each room.
Bleeding your radiators regularly is a good ideas as this will remove any air trapped which allow even heat circulation. Keeping your central heating on at a minimum temperature of 15°C is a wise precaution, even when you’re not at home as this will stop pipe freezing and keeps even an even temperature. This is particularly important if there is a possibility that the temperature outside is below freezing.

Check the exterior of your house
Check your downpipes and gutter for debris such as leaves and twigs and remove to prevent blockages which can cause water to escape. Also, make sure that everything is aligned and that the outlets are pointing away from your house and free from leaks.
Checking your roof for any damaged or missing tiles as well as worn concrete and caulking is a good idea throughout the year but it’s even more important in the months running up to winter. Check the leadwork flashing around any chimneys to prevent leaks. Consider having your chimney swept to prevent fires.

Take care of your water pipes
Make sure all water pipes on your loft and garage. Make sure your cold water storage tank is sufficiently lagged. Pipes in lofts, eaves and behind cupboards are particularly vulnerable as they are typically more exposed and prone to freezing. Loft insulation should be laid over and under pipes.
Keep your eye out for leaks and blocked drains when the temperature starts to rise as burst pipes often occur when ice thaws.
What to do if you find a frozen pipe?
• Find your mains water stop-cock valve and turn it off immediately.
• Turn on all cold water taps to drain the system.
• Check for leaking joints or bursts in the pipes and gently heat any frozen pipes with a hairdryer or a heated cloth wrapped around the pipe. NEVER apply a direct flame to the pipe.

Away from home?
If you are going to be away for a long period of time and the weather forecast predicts cold weather, it is a good idea to drain your water system completely or leave your heating on low. Condensing boiler overflows can freeze and this will fill up the boiler with water and prevent the boiler working. If this happens gently heat the white overflow pipe then the water will drain out. You may need to drain the condensing chamber in the boiler.

Find your mains water stop-cock
Being able to turn off your water in an emergency is vital to reducing the damage a burst pipe may have on your home. Locate your stop-cock the moment you move in and check that it is easily accessible should you need to turn it off.

For more advice on any aspect of protecting your home, please do not hesitate to contact us on
Telephone: 01342 324461